Quick, easy & resilient—autoflowering strains pack some big benefits for homegrowers.
As cannabis is increasingly legalized in states across the US, a growing number of Americans are exploring the idea of cultivating their own plants at home. With legalization, there’s been a boom in the variety of strains available, but this explosion of options can make it pretty tough for a newbie to figure out the best fit for their home garden.
If you’re getting started with growing and weighing versatility, ease of process, and quality of the end results, autoflowering cannabis strains have some huge benefits. These strains, compared to their photoperiod counterparts, are more beginner-friendly, making them a top choice for American homegrowers, especially those looking for a simpler cultivation experience without the fuss of adjusting light cycles.
Backyard autoflower growing benefits at a glance
Growing your own cannabis isn’t just a personal win—it’s a full-scale victory with a range of perks. Home cultivation unlocks a treasure trove of benefits:
Benefits of growing your own cannabis:
- Endless top-shelf supply: Imagine having unlimited access to premium-quality weed without the hefty price tag.
- Pure, natural medicine: Dictate the purity of your medicinal cannabis, ensuring it’s free from harmful chemicals and grown exactly to your preferences.
- Eco-conscious cultivation: By growing at home, you contribute to a greener planet by reducing the pollution associated with commercial production and transportation.
- Diverse cannabis exploration: Be unrestricted in your cannabis choices. From flavors to aromas and effects, homegrowing lets you delve deep into the cannabis world, beyond the limitations of market availability.
Completing their growth cycle in a swift 8-11 weeks, autoflowering seeds are hardy, resisting many plant diseases, and are adaptable to a range of climates. Here’s a glimpse of what autoflowers bring to your garden:
Benefits of growing autoflowering cannabis strains:
- Versatile cultivation: Whether you’re set up outdoors, indoors, or in a greenhouse, autoflowers thrive in all conditions, irrespective of the season.
- No light cycle: These plants flower on their own, eliminating the need for you to adjust light cycles to induce blooming.
- Maximized yields in minimal spaces: Even if you’re working with limited real estate, autoflowers can surprise you with abundant harvests without demanding any extra elbow grease.
- Novice-friendly: Whether you’re a seasoned grower or just starting out, autoflowers streamline the process, ensuring you harvest top-notch buds with minimal fuss.
The green revolution in American backyards
The US boasts sprawling residential areas, many of which come with the added charm of backyards. The National Association of Home Builders tells us that a whopping 60% of American homes feature a backyard. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find an impressive 39.1 million households have rolled up their sleeves and are diving into the joys of vegetable gardening.
For those already nurturing home gardens with tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, and more, the leap to cultivating cannabis might not be as vast as one might think. If you’re adept at growing veggies, you’re already ahead of the curve! Slotting a cannabis plant next to your green beans could be as straightforward as just planting another seed.
Sustainable gardening practices for growing cannabis
Interestingly, cannabis, especially the autoflowering variety, coexists harmoniously with vegetables. They share a lot in common—from the type of soil they thrive in to the nutrients they crave. And when it comes to autoflowering cannabis, it’s even more low-maintenance, demanding fewer nutrients than its traditional photoperiodic cousins.
There’s a palpable shift towards sustainable living in the US. With so many folks having access to backyard spaces and a growing enthusiasm for organic cultivation, the trend of growing your own produce is on a steady rise. And, thanks to the hassle-free nature of autoflowers, adding cannabis to the mix is becoming an equally appealing proposition. As we move forward, it won’t just be about homegrown tomatoes or lettuce; homegrown weed could very well be the next green revolution in American backyards.
No need to change the light cycle
So, what exactly is an autoflower, anyway? Well, autoflowering strains are descendants of cannabis plants native to areas with short growing seasons due to low light conditions. These strains evolved to flower in situations where lighting is low or inconsistent, giving them an advantage in convenience and ease of process over traditional cannabis strains, which require precise variations in the light cycle to flower.
Traditional cannabis strains require precise light schedules to transition from the vegetative to the flowering phase. But autoflowers? They march from seed to harvest without batting an eye at the light cycle. This adaptability is a game-changer. For outdoor growers, it offers flexibility—you can basically kick off your growing season whenever you feel like it. Just bear in mind that these plants are a bit like solar panels: the more sunlight they soak up, the more bountiful the yields.
What are autoflower weed plants?
Indoor cultivators, too, have a lot to be excited about. The fuss of toggling between different light schedules? Gone. No more stressing over setting timers or switching out light bulbs to match the plant’s growth phase. With autoflowers, you’re pretty much setting your indoor garden on cruise control.
And because they’re so low-maintenance when it comes to lighting, you can even optimize energy use by choosing efficient LED lights, which are ideal for autoflowers due to their full spectrum and lower heat emission. This not only simplifies the process but can also be more cost-effective in the long run.
Bang for your buck
Speaking of cost-effectiveness, if you try your hand at growing your own autoflowering cannabis plants, it’s not just lighting that you’ll be saving on. Instead of shelling out $10 for a gram of flower at the dispensary, why not invest the same money in a cannabis seed and potentially reap over 100g from a single plant?
Yes, you’ll need to get a handle on the basics, but growing cannabis is as straightforward as tending to most plants. The essentials? Sunlight, good soil, and water. If you’ve already got a green thumb and cultivate plants or veggies in your garden, then you’re pretty much set to grow cannabis outdoors.
Short life cycles: More weed, a whole lot faster
Autoflowering seeds also have growing periods that can be much shorter than traditional strains. You can expect to harvest your autoflowers in as little as nine weeks, a lightning-fast cultivation that’ll get you quality cannabis in record time. The convenience offered by autos is virtually unparalleled.
Some autoflowers can shoot up to 150cm, but most of the time they hover around the 90cm mark because of their shorter life cycle. So, if you’re trying to grow some top-notch weed in a tight spot, autoflowers are your go-to. Their compact size also means there’s less to manage, making them a total win for folks working with limited space or for anyone not into cultivating big ol’ cannabis trees.
How much weed can you get from growing one plant?
While conventional cannabis strains need a solid 5-6 months to navigate through their vegetative and flowering phases, many autoflowers race through their entire growth cycle in just under 3 months. For homegrowers hoping to maximize their yields, every tick of the clock counts. The speedier the harvest, the more you can grow in a single year, making for an impressive return on investment.
That’s precisely why so many cultivators are leaning towards autoflowers. Their rapid life cycle wraps up so swiftly, it’s almost like watching a time-lapse. Autos offer the tempting prospect of faster harvests, potentially doubling your yield compared to photoperiod plants. And this high turnover isn’t just good for your wallet—it’s great for plant health, too.
Autoflowering strains’ lightning-quick growth isn’t just about your bottom line; it’s a shield against pests. Although pests are not entirely averse to taking a bite out of outdoor autoflowers, their time window to wreak havoc is significantly smaller. Pests usually need a longer stretch to establish a damaging presence on plants, making autos a tougher target due to their shorter life cycle.
Consider the pesky spider mites, the stuff of nightmares for cannabis growers. These critters need time to spin their webs and make themselves at home. With spider mites typically launching their offensive during the flowering phase, autoflowers, with their faster flowering period, present a harder-to-penetrate fortress.
Pair the autos’ quick growth with integrated pest management (IPM) techniques, and you’ve got a solid defense line. IPM tactics might range from using insect screens and sticky traps in indoor settings to releasing beneficial predatory insects that chow down on the baddies. And if you’re growing outdoors, planting companion plants near your auto crops acts as a magnet for helpful insects and a repellent for the detrimental ones.
How to get rid of pests and little bugs in weed plants
Autoflowering cannabis’ relative pest resiliency isn’t the only benefit. If you’re one of the millions of Americans with a green thumb and a local joke about the weather changing multiple times an hour, rejoice. Autoflowering strains are also remarkably resilient to changes in climate, making them a favorite of backyard growers from the Miami heat to the Seattle haze, and every home garden in between. This reduces the risk of an inconsistent grow, or the worst case scenario, a total crop failure.
In a vast country like the US, climatic conditions can be wildly diverse across regions, making consistent year-round cultivation a formidable challenge. Take, for example, the temperature fluctuations between states: New Mexico in June might oscillate between 86°F and 95°F, while Wisconsin’s June temperatures can swing between a cooler 58°F to 78°F. Such disparities can be major roadblocks for cultivators.
How to grow marijuana outdoors
But autoflowers? They’ve got an answer. Their independence from light cycles and their robustness means they can soldier on in a multitude of climates. Whether you’re contending with the biting cold of a northern state or grappling with limited sunshine in overcast regions, autoflowers grant the luxury of uninterrupted, year-round cannabis cultivation.
Plus, they’re relatively low-maintenance, consuming around half the nutrients of conventional cannabis strains. This resilience and efficiency open doors for American enthusiasts to cultivate and indulge in their passion, regardless of the whims of the weather. This adaptability means you can potentially have up to four grow cycles annually!
Choosing your autoflowering cannabis seeds
As you venture into the world of autoflowers, here’s a golden nugget of advice: The quality of the end product leans heavily on genetics. So, before you sow your first seed, invest time in sourcing top-tier strains from reputable sources. Starting on the right foot, after all, sets the tone for your entire cultivation journey.
One source that checks that box and then some is Fast Buds. The autoflower-only seed bank emerged on the scene more than a decade ago, and they’ve been dead set on earning a reputation as one of the most trustworthy seed banks around ever since.
Fast Buds began life in a dank California garage, where a team of innovative, inspired growers met and began experimenting with their favorite autoflowering genetics. This passion for autoflowers led them to grow Fast Buds into one of the foremost providers of autoflowers in the world today.
And we really do mean the world—the multinational team at Fast Buds has received over twenty accolades since 2016, including international events and several cannabis cup championships. Fast Buds autoflowering seeds are stocked in over a thousand shops worldwide, and their prize genetics have resulted in hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers. These autoflower specialists are one of the most talked about seed banks the world over.
How to grow weed indoors
The passion that Fast Buds has for the resilience and convenience of autoflowers motivates everything they do to this day. Their singular focus on this particular corner of the cannabis world has led them to absolutely master the genetics of autoflowers, regularly breaking records for autoflower yield and THC content. They’ve made it their mission to bring quality autoflowers to growers of all stripes all over the globe, and they want to bring them to a backyard garden near you.
Backyard autoflowering strain essentials
Fast Buds prides themselves on their stunning genetic diversity, a fact that has won them a dedicated fan base in their native European markets and, increasingly, globally. One of our favorites from Fast Buds is a standout little number called Banana Purple Punch. Banana Purple Punch Auto has proudly entered the league of the most potent autoflowers.
This remarkable strain boasts incredible THC levels, reaching up to 30.4%, and delivers one of the best terpene profiles out there in just 56 days. Anticipate a delightful terpene blend reminiscent of candy, featuring an irresistible ripe banana essence that’s wonderfully enhanced by fruity undertones, leaving a sense on the palate that you’ve just enjoyed a delectable bag of gummy bears.
Strawberry Gorilla is a tantalizing hybrid descended from the GG family, Strawberry Gorilla has the honor of being one of the most powerful autoflowers in the world. That’s right, this multiple cannabis cup winner is an autoflower that can go smoke-for-smoke with the best of them. Strawberry Gorilla is an extremely easy plant to grow, with notably tiny sugar leaves, making trimming your harvest a breeze. And you’ll be glad to have plenty of Strawberry Gorilla stock; the strain’s uplifting high makes it a popular all-day smoke.
Gorilla Cookies, Fast Buds’ most popular strain, is a breeze to grow and a great place to begin your backyard growing journey. An exemplar of all the things that make Fast Buds autoflowers great, planting this guy at nearly any time of the year will result in thick, resin-soaked buds in as little as ten weeks. You also won’t be skimping on potency; the GG genetics ensure that this strain is plenty powerful, meaning that Gorilla Cookies has something to offer experienced growers, as well. Try it out in your garden this season—its classic Christmas tree shape will look great next to the snap peas.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg of Fast Buds’ massive selection of quality autoflowering seeds. You can head over to their website to browse the whole selection. While you’re there, be sure to check out their growing tips & read reviews from fellow growers.
As the cannabis cultivation scene in the US becomes more mainstream and accessible, understanding the merits of autoflowers can be a valuable asset for those looking to optimize their consumption experience.
This growing accessibility makes homegrowing the ideal option for everyone who consumes weed and wants to ensure they are smoking the cleanest, freshest top-shelf flower. Grow forth with this knowledge & happy planting!
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